Electricity in Southern Africa

Electricity in Southern Africa
Electricity in Southern Africa
Figure 2 contains figures for the national installed capacities for all the countries of the region. As the table shows, in terms of size, the dominant presence is South Africa, with 44,170MW of generating capacity, or close to 84%, of the total capacity of 52,582MW in the region. The next largest capacity is found in Zimbabwe, 2,045MW. However, much of this is aging and availability is much lower. Zambia with 1,812MW, and Angola with 1,515MW - are the only other countries with more than 1,000MW of generating capacity available. At the other end of the scale two countries, Lesotho and Swaziland, have only 72MW of generating capacity each. Ten countries in the Figure are members of SAPP, through their national utilities.
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Summary

The countries of southern Africa share much in common. Their peoples share many common ancestors, with individual national identities forged through migrations, invasions, and settlement in the region - across the past two millennia. They share a history of colonisation and exploitation by European settlers from the fifteenth century onwards, creating linguistic, economic, and governmental legacies - that have often persisted after independence. They also share a legacy of under-development, and most have high levels of poverty.
Since 1995 most have shared a regional electricity system, too, the Southern African Power Pool, that allows them to exchange power, and maintain greater electricity system stability than would be possible as individual, isolated nations. This goes some way to making up for the limited access to electricity in even the most highly developed of the countries, such as South Africa. According to the South African Development Bank, the average national level of access to electricity in 2009 was only 30%, leaving more than two thirds of the collective population to rely on traditional energy sources, such as fuelwood for heating and cooking.
In spite of their shared heritage, there are some sharp differences between the countries too. South Africa is a vast region, the most highly developed in sub-Saharan Africa, with a large economy, nuclear power, and the largest power generation capacity on the continent. Swaziland, which is virtually enclosed by South Africa, is tiny, has a small economy, a miniscule electricity sector, and imports most of its power from its giant neighbour. In addition to such economic disparities, resources are spread unevenly as well. South Africa relies mainly on coal for its electricity, many of its northern neighbours use hydropower extensively, while Angola has abundant oil and natural gas, and Mozambique has gas, both in addition to hydropower. However, all have solar energy in abundance, and most have good biomass resources.
This report covers twelve countries in Southern Africa, including ten of the twelve members of the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) , as well as the two island nations, Madagascar and Mauritius. A chapter is devoted to each, and provides a detailed profile of the electricity sector in that region, together with an analysis of its outlook and power sector growth potential. Together, the profiles provide a comprehensive source of information about one of the most important and economically attractive regions of Africa.


This report is a regional profile, covering:-

  • Power generation capacity by fuel input
  • Electricity networks
  • Current power market trends
  • Generation growth
  • Investment opportunities
  • Future project plans

Scope

  • An overview of the electricity market in Southern Africa.
  • Power supply data covering production, imports and exports and the main production sources.
  • Power demand data by market sector and tariff data.
  • An overview of the structure of the electricity sector with government and private sector companies as well as the regulatory status.
  • Power demand forecasts and the development of the power sector to meet expected growth.
  • Transmission system expansion plans.

Key Findings of the Report

  • Proven oil reserves in Angola were estimated to be 15bn barrels (bbls) in 2013.
  • There are reserves of coal-bed methane, put at 990tn m3.
  • The Lesotho transmission system is restricted to the lowland region of the north west and south west of the country.
  • For the past thirty to forty years, the main source of electric power in Madagascar has been hydropower.
  • The transmission and distribution system in Malawi is based on a backbone of 132kV and 66kV transmission lines that link only the major cities.
  • Electricity production in Mauritius comes both from the state utility CEB and from IPPs.
  • Mozambique’s major electricity export markets are Namibia and Botswana, with small quantities also sold to Lesotho and Zimbabwe.
  • Wind potential in Namibia is significant, with sites already surveyed showing average wind speeds of over 8m/s, and some sites with average wind speeds as high as 15m/s. There is a high solar potential in South Africa. Many areas of the country experience direct irradiance of over 7.0kWh/m2/d, and these areas are often conveniently located for the grid.
  • Tariffs in Swaziland are set by SERA, based on a submission from SEC. For the 2013/2014 financial year, the SEC applied for a tariff increase of 36.5%. However it was granted an average tariff increase of 9.3% by SERA. Proven coal reserves in Zambia are over 30m tonnes.
  • There is major hydropower potential in Zimbabwe. The World Energy Council puts gross theoretical potential energy output at 44TWh/y, and the technically exploitable capacity at 18TWh/y.

Key Questions Answered

  • How does Southern Africa generate its electricity?
  • What is the status of the regional electricity market?
  • What are the key developments in electricity infrastructure?
  • Who are the key players in market?
  • What are the future prospects for investment in Southern Africa?

Date Published / Pages / Format

Feb 2014 / 317 / PDF